The Museum of Broken Relationships


Words by Billie Jenkins Image courtesy of Wandering Earl

My dad once said to me in the midst of the first big break up ’our relationships with other people, they’re not like objects, they don’t break in an obvious, tangible way, you just have to feel your way through things’. It’s sound advice; we build histories with each other, and it can never be the case they all survive. We wouldn’t want them to anyway. It is more than just the romantic type we share though, families, friendships, the colleague that transitions, fleeting encounters that could never endure the conditions our ordinary lives, they all contribute to the tapestry of our social lives. Yet the untraceable nature of our relationships makes it hard to hold onto our feelings past the moment we feel them, time passes and the memories become obscured. It is perhaps for this reason we invest so much in the objects we collect around those we share our time with. We frame them, hide them in boxes away from new lovers, destroy them, carry them to each new home, and get them out in quiet moments of reflection.

The Museum of Broken Relationships, in Zagreb, Croatia, is a shrine to our preoccupation with objects from our past. The exhibits are fragments leftover from relationships that were once good. An eccentric selection of objects that represent something poignant in the moments shared or the demise, all with stories documenting their significance. It’s a collection that touches on all the emotions. My highlight was The Ex Axe, which was used to destroy the furniture of a old girlfriend whilst she holidayed. Bizarre but wonderful.

See some of the exhibits here.

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